Monday, August 29, 2005

Day 238 - Keeping it Real

Let's see, how to put this? Life has been interesting since Al has been back in the Sand. This Saturday marked his one week anniversary of being gone - and that was kind of a rough day - Em and I stayed to ourselves and didn't venture out until my neighbor took us out to dinner that night. "Nanny" is my landlord, next door neighbor, Em's adopted grandma and a real sweetie most of the time - she knew that I was sad with Al being gone again so she wanted to do something special for me. The lobster, crab legs and hot lemon butter at Red Lobster were like a salve to my broken heart - lol.

Al called Saturday and he is right back in the thick of things at his FOB. He is now working in the clinic, doing the security officer position, and he will be training for another position soon too. It looks like they are going to serve their whole boots on ground time (call me a fatalist but I hadn't gotten my hopes up that they wouldn't do their whole BOG anyway - lol). Please keep him in your thoughts if you can.

Emelia hasn't been feeling herself for the past week or so either, so that has been hard. I don't want to make anybody barf, but explosive toddler diarrhea is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure. We had to stay home from church yesterday, because I don't think she's contagious - I think she's just teething her molars, but I didn't feel that the people in the nursery should have to deal with all of that. Our big excitement yesterday was laundry, scrubbing down the kitchen, and me cleaning and organizing various drawers and cabinets in the house - we also ventured out to Walmart and we made it almost home until another attack of the killer poopies hit. YUCK. If anyone has any cures for a raw bootie, my ears are open - I have been using a double layer of vaseline and diaper cream.

I stayed home with her this morning until I got the free and clear from the Peditrician's office to try another couple of days of the 'wait and see' approach. Em has no fever, no vomiting and no behavioral changes - she just has Mount Vesuvius in her pants about five times a day. We start our new Tricare insurance on Thursday also - so it will be really nice to have no copay, etc. on this doctor's visit (I told Al that now that I am getting Army bennies, that it makes it 'a little' easier to have him gone, lol). Anyway, I am now at the office and I have been trying to slog through my many projects, but I have no real motivation to get anything done.

There's another hurricane a' comin' too - but we should just get tons of rain and strong wind. I talked to Stacy at about 1100 this morning, and they had just lost power at her house. She is close to Jackson, MS which is also where Al's mom and his son, Trey live. There are tons of soldiers in training at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, MS which is in the path of the hurricane - and there are a lot of currently husbandless military wives in the 155 BCT that are going to have to deal with this storm and its consequences, so please keep them in your prayers.

Staying humble in Alabama, rain, wind, poop and all . . . Melinda.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Day 234 - We're Famous, LOL!

Something kind-of neat happened yesterday as I was stumbling along the web. I discovered that on the Army National Guard site, that our blog was being listed as an example of what a National Guard blog is. LOL. It was listed under the "You Can Make a Difference"/Recruiting Action Center section on the Virtual Armory site.

If you haven't been to the Virtual Armory yet, I really encourage you to go. The National Guard is a good side career, and there are a lot of other options to help support your country and our nation's military that are listed on the site. You can't become a 'member' of the virtual armory unless you are a member of the National Guard, but you can do lots of other neat things like order a hero band (for free!) and send cool Guard e-cards. Check it out!

National Guard Virtual Armory!!!! Click HERE!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Day 233 - Urgent Prayers Needed!

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Please pray for "Some Soldier's Mom" and her son, SPC Noah Pincusoff. She received word yesterday that Noah was "injured in a VBIED attack ... a serious spinal injury... being operated on in Iraq". Her blog has been a source of inspiration to me personally - and you can just see her love for her son in everything that she writes. My friend, Stacy, called me about this last night - and she is so upset about it. War gets very personal when it affects someone that you know and care about. All of us in the Milblog community wrap our loving arms of protection around Noah and his family right now - and we will get through this together.

On a personal note, Al has made it back to Iraq. He is not back 'home' to his FOB yet, but I don't think he minds too much. Where he is staying right now is quite a bit ritzier than his location - he emailed me and told me that he is going 'swimming in the pool' a little later today - lol. It was so good to get his phone call yesterday at work - and he had me laughing and grinning from ear to ear as usual. I love him and I miss him so much, but I'm glad to know that he is back where he needs to be right now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Day 232 - Back to the Sand

Hey y'all. Well, Al left this weekend to go back to the sand. I haven't heard from him since 10 p.m. on Saturday night - and he hadn't left Dallas yet because of mechanical problems with the plane. I know that he will call as soon as he is able to but I am still pretty numb and sad about all of it. R&R was absolutely wonderful and amazing and I couldn't believe how instaneously comfortable we were with one another - but it's a terrible feeling when all that is taken away from you again after two weeks.

I'm not trying to be a big complainer though, because I would much rather be able to smile and look back at those memories than to not to have had the opportunity to have them at all. We are looking at 'around' four-five months left after this. Even though the goodbye was hard, it was much better than January. There are not so many unknowns this time. And although he was saying goodbye to me and the kids, his 'home' right now is really with the other guys at his FOB.

Here are some professional pictures from our wedding day:

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Melissa & Me

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'The Bride'

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"Us" #1

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"Us" #2

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"Us" #3

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"Us" #4

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'The Groom'

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Day 225 - We're Married!!

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Al's Arrival

Hey Everybody! I am so sorry to have been sooooo MIA - actually, I'm not sorry in the sense that I 'regret' it, because I have had an absolutely fantabulous time just living life and enjoying the heck out of my bunny - but I'm sorry in the sense that I have ignored all of you - and not kept you up-to-date of our goings-on.

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The Happy Couple (I had tears streaming down my face)!

Al got home on Thursday August 4th - and we were married on August 5, 2005 at about 1:15 p.m. - it was everything that you would imagine a 'war wedding' to be . . . handsome groom, blushing bride, etc. He is still home right now and I won't say when he is leaving for security reasons ;o) other than to say that it will be 'soon'.

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Me, getting my hair done the day of the wedding, lol.

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My very best friend Melissa who came for the ceremony - she was our matron of honor and 'best man' - lol!

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The happy couple - Part II!

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Our cake.

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Our rings.

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Feeding cake.

Thank you so much to everyone for all of your well wishes and your thoughtfulness. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we go through the transition of Al's R&R ending - although I certainly don't look forward to him going back to the sand, I do look forward to getting my routine back and checking up on all of you again. Sending much love to each of you across the Internet miles!!

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Honeymooning with the kids - Vicksburg, MS.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Day 210 - BIG NEWS!

Whew. Well, this post is going to provide me with a tremendous sense of relief. I have not posted anything until now because I have this total "don't count your chicken's until they're hatched" mentality. But, since things are actually in progress now, I can reveal my secrets - lol. Al will be here this week for his R&R - and we will also be getting married. That's a lot of news, huh?

We have been together a long time - and in July, we were engaged for one year. But, both of us were unsure about getting married before he left for the Sand - but it now feels right to us. We are so excited and thrilled. I will be 'official' before the week is out - yay! I love Al so much - and I'm so thankful to have him in my life and that we will get to move onto the next chapter of our lives together. For OPSEC reasons, I cannot release the date/time of his arrival - but suffice it to say, it will be "SOON". LOL.

In preparation for his imminent departure from bachelorhood, the guys at his location threw him a bachelor party on Saturday night. Once again, our wonderful Homefront Hugs family came through for us - they sponsored the party!! Cindy, their gang-leader, emailed me several months ago when I told her that we had set our wedding date for during Al's R&R leave - and she said that they would love to supply everything for the party. She picked out a beach theme, because as she said, 'they already have the sand' - tee hee.

Then, I arranged for everything to be sent to Stacy's son, Michael. He is at the same location as Al, so it worked out perfectly! He did a great job keeping things under wraps and also in recruiting some of Al's friends to help in the festivities. Then he was a huge sweetie and provided me with pictures too! Whoo HOO!

The guys had a really good time. I joked with Al after the fact that it must have been the most tame Bachelor Party of all time - no strippers and no alcohol. But, he loved it - and he said the snacks were great and that the guys had a blast putting it together. I guess they also threw water balloons on him at the end - lol. Poor Al.

Here are some pictures!